MLB commissioner says Oakland A’s relocation vote could happen as early as June

May 26, 2023, 10:24 AM

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred speaks to the media prior to a game between the Milw...

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred speaks to the media prior to a game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the San Francisco Giants at American Family Field on May 25, 2023 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

With news coming out earlier this week that the Oakland A’s and Nevada lawmakers have a “tentative agreement” in place to bring the team to Las Vegas, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said a relocation vote could happen as early as June.

“It’s very difficult to have a timeline for Oakland until there’s actually a deal to be considered,” Manfred said Thursday while visiting Milwaukee’s American Family Field. “There is a relocation process internally they need to go through, and we haven’t even started that process.”

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Whether there’s still a chance the team stays in Oakland remains to be seen. Manfred told reporters Oakland “cut off negotiations” after one of the team’s binding agreement announcements.

“I don’t have a crystal ball as to where anything’s going,” Manfred said. “There’s not a definitive deal done in Las Vegas. We’ll have to see how that plays out.”

Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao, after the agreement was announced, released a statement saying she was disappointed in the agreement and chose to cease negotiations with the team. However, in an interview with NBC Bay Area’s Raj Mathai, she said the team walked away from the city, but if they came back, she’d listen.

“If the A’s called me back, I’ll pick up the phone. Again, it wasn’t the city that walked away from these negotiations summit, it was the A’s. And so, absolutely.

Oakland A’s relocation timeline

Earlier this year, the A’s announced its first binding agreement to purchase 49 acres of land in Las Vegas, where a new stadium could have been built. Less than a month later, a second binding agreement was announced, this time between the A’s and Bally’s Corp. As time progressed, the two sides formally announced an agreement for a new baseball stadium along the Las Vegas Strip.

In the agreement between the team and Bally’s Corp., the Oakland A’s will have access to nine acres on the 35-acre site located at Las Vegas Boulevard and Tropicana Avenue to build a 30,000-seat stadium with a retractable roof. The Gaming & Leisure Properties, Inc. [GLPI] also agreed to fund “up to $175 million towards certain shared improvements within the future development in exchange for a commensurate rent increase.”

If all goes according to plan, the team could break ground on the new stadium in 2024 with games beginning in Las Vegas as early as 2027.

Total construction is estimated to be around $1.5 billion. As part of the agreement between the team and lawmakers, “the public-private partnership includes public financing constituting less than 25 percent of the cost.” The agreement doesn’t specify how much the public is on the hook for with the new stadium, but it’s estimated to be less than $375 million.

Paperwork hasn’t been officially submitted to Nevada lawmakers with less than two weeks to go before the Legislature adjourns.

If the move comes to fruition, Las Vegas would be the fourth home for the franchise. The team originates from Philadelphia where they played from 1901-1954. The Athletics then moved to Kansas City until 1968, when they relocated to Oakland. The A’s have been looking to either update or move out of the Oakland Coliseum for years.

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